Fujitsu is to cut 1,800 jobs in the UK in early 2017 but says the decision has nothing to do with Brexit.

The Japanese IT company cited the need to remain competitive as rival foreign firms can offer services more cheaply.

“Fujitsu is planning a transformation program that will enable it to better support customers in the era of digital transformation,” the company said in a statement.

“The company today advised its employee representative forum of plans to restructure the organisation in order to provide better service and respond more quickly to customer needs.

“As part of the programme, Fujitsu plans to streamline operations in order to remain competitive in the market.

“Proposed measures include changes which would result in a reduction of up to 1,800 jobs in the UK.

“All affected employees will be offered guidance and support and Fujitsu is establishing a consultation process with elected employee representatives.”

Fujitsu has offices in Belfast, Bracknell, Manchester, Solihull, Wakefield and Warrington.

Reports suggest many tech firms are considering quitting Britain as the decision to leave the European Union could make it more difficult to access skilled workers.